GREYHOUNDS: Keep believing - but don't get carried away

Champion trainer Angie Kibble celebrates her eighth title after receiving her trophies from Oxford Owners chairman John Alcock

Champion trainer Angie Kibble celebrates her eighth title after receiving her trophies from Oxford Owners chairman John Alcock

First published in Sport by

NEVER give up hope.

That has been the message relayed this week regarding the future of Oxford Stadium, which closes next Saturday.

This situation has occurred many times in the past at Sandy Lane, but this is the biggest fight yet.

We must not let ourselves get carried away too early at the latest developments.

But one cannot underestimate the hard work put in by local MP Andrew Smith, supported by Oxford Cheetahs speedway fans, Paul Hedges from the stadium and many more.

Oxford City Council leader Bob Price is urging the Greyhound Racing Association and Galliard Homes not to pursue their plans for the site.

But why doesn’t he just come straight out and say they have no chance of getting planning permission for the 200-odd houses?

That would be a lot stronger statement and would give the campaigners a lot more hope.

One thing I do fear, however, is that the GRA will get rid of a lot of the equipment at the stadium early in the New Year, making it a lot harder to find a new buyer.

The remaining staff, a handful of people, have been ordered to remove everything – kitchen equipment, tables, chairs – even destroying the balustrading and ripping up carpets.

And that’s only indoors.

Outside, the traps, equipment, tractors and everything else will go either to GRA tracks or be auctioned off.

Already the signs are there for all to see with all the pictures taken off the walls, including my treasured Hall of Fame in the main foyer.

There are wastepaper baskets full to the brim, with things no longer required.

As it stands, Oxford Stadium could resume racing under a new owner in a matter of months.

But with all the destruction going on, it paints a bleak picture for any new incumbent in the future.

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